It is important to remember that not all hacks take place over an Internet connection. In fact, most of the work is done offline, especially since most systems place limits on the number of assumptions allowed before locking out an account.
Offline cracking usually involves the process of decrypting passwords using a list of hashes that were likely taken from a recent data breach. Without the threat of discovery or the restrictions of the password form, hackers can take their time.
Of course, this can only be done after the initial attack has been successfully launched, be it a hacker gaining elevated privileges and database access, using a SQL injection attack, or stumbling into an unsecured server.
How Does An Offline Password Cracking Work ?
Offline password cracking involves attempting to guess or crack a password by parsing a file containing encrypted password data. This file is usually obtained from an offline source, such as a stolen user account database or a compromised computer.
This process usually involves the use of specialized software designed specifically for cracking passwords, which can try different combinations of characters and words until the correct password is found.
There are several methods used to crack passwords offline, including dictionary attacks, brute-force attacks, and rainbow table attacks. In a dictionary attack, the program tries a list of common words and phrases, while in a brute-force attack, the program systematically generates all possible combinations of characters in a given range.
Rainbow table attacks involve precomputing hashes for all possible character combinations and storing them in a lookup table. When the program encounters an encrypted password, it looks up the corresponding hash value in the table to find the original password.
Offline password cracking can take a long time, especially for strong passwords with complex character combinations. However, if successful, it can give an attacker access to sensitive information and systems.